This recipe is for when you’re short on time. It’s a very quick but delicious twist on mince pies that you can be munching on and enjoying in under 30 minutes, start to finish.
No faffing with rolling and cutting and sticking pastry bits together – just some sheets of filo pastry, a bit of butter and some mincemeat. To make for extra deliciousness, allow me to suggest a lemony, cream cheese frosting dip to go alongside.
These emerge from the oven crisp and flaky and golden, glistening with sugar. The crunch of the pastry provides a fabulous texture, but the real star of these is the filling. If you use either of the suet-free mincemeats from the blog (this one or this one), even with the melted butter on the filo pastry, they are extremely low fat. The lack of suet also means that the flavour of the mincemeat is much fresher and cleaner than regular mince pies.
The cream cheese dip is simplicity itself: slightly sweetened and sharpened with lemon, its cool creaminess is the perfect foil, especially if the pastries are served warm.
Filo Mincemeat Cigars
1 packet of filo pastry
milk and caster sugar for glazing
Cream cheese frosting dip
300g cream cheese
2-3tbs icing sugar
zest and juice of 1 lemon
- Preheat the oven to 200°C, 180°C Fan.
- Dampen a tea towel with cold water.
- Open the packet of filo pastry and lay the pastry flat upon the work surface.
- Lay the damp tea towel over the pastry sheets.
- Warm the butter until melted.
- Take one sheet of filo pastry and lay it on the work surface. Re-cover the rest of the sheets with the cloth to prevent them from drying out.
- Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the melted butter over the filo sheet. A silicone pastry brush is ideal, as the bristles don’t soak up the butter as much as a traditional brush, so the amount of butter on the pastry remains very light.
- Spoon mincemeat along the short end of the filo sheet, as if making a sausage roll.
- Roll the pastry around the mincemeat once, until the filling is covered by a single layer of pastry.
- Press the ends of the roll, pushing the filling towards the centre, firming it into a neat cylinder.
- Fold the sides of the pastry sheet inwards about 1cm, making two strips of folded pastry down the long sides of the sheet of filo, and covering the ends of the roll.
- Dab a little butter onto the folded edges.
- Roll the rest of the pastry around the filling.
- Set the completed ‘cigar’ aside, with the seal underneath.
- Repeat until all the filo sheets are used up.
- Set the cigars onto a lightly greased baking sheet.
- Brush with milk and sprinkle with caster sugar.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown and crisp. Turn the baking sheet around halfway through cooking to ensure even colouring.
- While the pastries are cooking, mix the dip:
- Put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix.
- Taste and adjust the sweetness if necessary.
- Cool the pastries on a wire rack. Dust with icing sugar if liked.
- Serve warm. Cut each cigar in half, on the diagonal, and serve a pot of dip alongside.